The Spectacle Blog

Fiorina Fares Best in GOP Happy Hour Debate

By on 8.6.15 | 8:01PM

I watched the so-called GOP Happy Hour Debate on FNC earlier this evening. 

Please note I did this while on an elliptical machine. So, yes, I am quite exercised about the whole thing.

Of the seven second-tier candidates, I think only Carly Fiorina has any opportunity for growth. 

Jim Gilmore and George Pataki repeatedly reminded us they were Governors on 9/11, but what have they done since? Lindsey Graham looked like he had just woke up from an afternoon nap. Meanwhile, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry sounded too much like their stump speeches. In the case of Santorum and Perry, we've seen their act before and I don't think they've added much despite some fine moments from Santorum (like when he mentioned his father saying, "America was the worth the wait," in his comments on illegal immigration) and Perry's best efforts (I did like his line about Hillary being good at e-mail). 

When Obama Wanted to Apologize for Hiroshima

By on 8.6.15 | 3:51PM

Earlier this afternoon, on the occasion of both the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing and Jon Stewart’s impending departure from TV, I wrote about Stewart calling President Truman a war criminal for bombing Hiroshima back in 2009.

Along that same vein, a few months after the Stewart incident, the Obama Administration evidently wanted to apologize for Hiroshima. According to a Wikileaks cable released in October 2011, then U,S, Ambassador to Japan John Roos told then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in September 2009 that the Japanese government was not amenable to the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima to issue an apology for the bombing.

Remember When Jon Stewart Called Harry Truman a War Criminal?

By on 8.6.15 | 1:31PM

Today is the 70th anniversary of President Truman’s decision to bomb Hiroshima.

Today is also Jon Stewart’s final appearance as host of The Daily Show.

Given the confluence of these two events, I somehow neglected to mention perhaps the daftest thing Stewart ever did during his 16 years host of The Daily Show in my rather brutal assessment of his intelligence and his comedic talents.

Remember in 2009 when Stewart told Cliff May, president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, that President Truman was a war criminal because he dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The two had been arguing about waterboarding. Well, didn’t. The uproar was such that Stewart was compelled to offer a rare apology for his statement the following night to a President who had been dead at the time for nearly 40 years.

Obama Erects More Straw Men, Engages in Moral Equivalency in Iran Nuclear Deal Speech

By on 8.5.15 | 11:32PM

President Obama's speech in defense of his Iran nuclear deal at American University in Iran is about what you would expect. A liberal dose of demagoguery populated by straw men and engagement in moral equivalency. 

His main argument was that the people who opposed the Iran nuclear deal supported the War in Iraq as if the two were mutually exclusive. 

As usual he resorted to outright distortions and misrepresentation of the views of his critics as was the case with the interim deal:

Now, let me pause here just to remind everybody that when the interim deal was announced, critics -- the same critics we’re hearing from now -- called it “a historic mistake.”  They insisted Iran would ignore its obligations.  They warned that sanctions would unravel.  They warned that Iran would receive a windfall to support terrorism. 

Joe Biden’s Friends Fear Joe Biden Will Lose Joe Biden-ness As President

By on 8.5.15 | 6:34PM

Joe Biden is well known for many things, but his illustrious legacy of statesmanship is not first among the achievements that come to mind.

Yet, as Joe prepares to join the Democratic race for the 2016 nomination, his friends are warning him that taking on the nation's highest office could irreparably tarnish Joe Biden's otherwise spotless record. He's been such an effective partner for Barack Obama that they simply cannot imagine what Joe Biden would be like absent one half of the Dynamic Duo. And with a bitter fight likely on the horizon, they don't want to risk him losing - or, for that matter, the Democratic party losing.

A Question for The Donald During the Big Debate

By on 8.5.15 | 6:15PM

Donald Trump likes to boast of the billions he has made in his business career — somehow managing to hold onto his wealth despite (or, rather, because of) multiple bankruptcy filings. Companies or properties bearing his name sought Chapter 11 protection in 1991, 1992, 2004, and again in 2009. 

The Donald happily admits to using bankruptcy laws to “pare debt.” In an interview on ABC news in April 2011, he told George Stephanopoulos: “We’ll have this company. We’ll throw it into a (bankruptcy) chapter. We’ll negotiate with the banks. We’ll make a fantastic deal. You know, it’s like on ‘The Apprentice.’ It’s not personal. It’s just business.”

And to think that this paragon of business ethics (quoting the Mafia don in The Godfather) would suggest that John McCain had himself to blame for being captured after his plane was shot down in the Vietnam War — saying “I like people who aren’t captured.”

Jeb Bush Has a Guac “Bowle” You Can Buy for $75

By on 8.5.15 | 4:51PM

As we all wend our way to Iowa, the campaigns are on the ground trying to hawk their merchandise to unsuspecting caucus-goers who might happen to drive their minivans around their kids' soccer matches, using the power of the bumper sticker to motivate legions of grassroots activists. Most campaigns have a banal selection - Ted Cruz, for example, is all tee shirts and buttons, Mike Huckabee has mostly the kind of lawn signs you see covering up dead patches of transplanted sod in long-term trailer parking. Rand Paul has been, far and away, the most creative, even getting me to shell out $15 for this "Detroit Republican" tee shirt that I can't actually wear in Detroit.

Jeb Bush is the newest entrant into the game, is going with more high-end merchandise, including this "guacamole bowl," that will cost you a whopping $75 (and you don't even get a recipe for guacamole), and all of your saved-up sanity. 

Barry, Kenya Spare a Time?

By on 8.5.15 | 3:55PM

As July flowed into August, President Barack Obama paid a visit to his ancestral home of Kenya on the occasion of the Global Entrepreneurial Summit. There he managed to lecture Kenyan leadership on homosexual rights and further alienate his extended family. All in all, a successful trip.

The President’s half-brother, Kenyan national George Obama, was asked for a reaction by the Telegraph. He said that he and other family members experienced “disappointment” that the President chose not to visit his family’s hometown, despite “the promise of home-cooked food and a warm welcome.” Barack Obama did reach out to some of his family by flying them in to the capital city of Nairobi, to attend events with him there. The Telegraph specifically cited the President’s step-grandmother, Sarah Ogwel Onyango, but did not name the “other members of his extended family” whose visit to Nairobi he bankrolled.